Top Attorneys Above Par 2009 | Super Lawyers

Trusted Lawyer in

South Jersey & Philadelphia

Photo of David T. Garnes

Trusted Lawyer in

South Jersey & Philadelphia

Let Our Cherry Hill Child Custody Attorney Answer Your Questions

Children are the most important part of a parent’s life. If you and your co-parent are divorcing or otherwise need legal guidance in child custody matters, the Law Offices of David T. Garnes, LLC can help you create a parenting plan that keeps you involved in your child’s life and promotes your child’s well-being. Our child custody attorney has more than 20 years of experience in these matters. Below are some of the most frequently asked questions we hear from our clients in Cherry Hill and the surrounding areas.

What are the different types of child custody in New Jersey?

In New Jersey, there are two main types of custody: physical custody and legal custody. Physical custody determines where the child lives, while legal custody refers to the right to make major decisions about the child’s life, such as education, health care and religious upbringing. These types of custody can be further divided into sole custody (one parent has exclusive rights) or joint custody (both parents share rights).

See our Tips for Making Co-Parenting Work to learn more.

How do courts in New Jersey determine child custody?

Courts in New Jersey prioritize the child’s best interests when determining custody arrangements. Factors considered may include the child’s age, the emotional ties between the child and each parent, the parents’ ability to provide for the child, any history of domestic violence, and the child’s preference, depending on their age and maturity.

Can a child custody order be modified in New Jersey?

Yes, in New Jersey, child custody orders can be modified if there is a substantial change in circumstances that affects the child’s welfare. Examples might include a parent relocating, changes in the child’s needs or changes in the parent’s ability to provide a stable home environment. As a family law firm with offices in both New Jersey and Pennsylvania, we often assist clients who are moving away with a child or wish to prevent a move-away. Please see our Family Law Overview to learn more about our law practice in both states.

What is a parenting plan, and do I need one in New Jersey?

A parenting plan is a detailed agreement that outlines how parents will share responsibilities and time with their child. The plan typically includes schedules for weekdays, weekends, holidays and vacations, as well as provisions for transportation, communication and decision-making. While not mandatory, a well-crafted parenting plan can be instrumental in New Jersey for ensuring clarity and reducing conflicts.

How does joint custody work in New Jersey?

In joint custody arrangements, both parents share the rights and responsibilities of raising the child. This can include joint legal custody, joint physical custody or both. The specifics of how joint custody works (such as the division of time spent with the child) are typically outlined in a parenting plan or custody order.

What role does a child’s preference play in custody decisions in New Jersey?

In New Jersey, a child’s preference is considered by the court when determining custody if the child is of sufficient age and capacity to form an intelligent preference. Generally, the older and more mature the child is, the more weight their preference will carry. However, this is just one of many factors the court will consider, and the child’s preference does not solely determine the outcome of custody decisions.

How do I enforce a child custody order in New Jersey?

If a custody order is violated, you can seek enforcement through the court. This may involve filing a motion or petition with the court that issued the original custody order. The court may then take various actions, such as ordering makeup parenting time, imposing fines or, in severe cases, changing the custody arrangement or issuing sanctions against the violating party. If you believe a custody order has been violated or if you have been accused of violating a custody order, please contact the Law Offices of David T. Garnes, LLC to discuss your options in a free consultation.

Contact A New Jersey Child Custody Attorney For A Free Consultation

It’s important to understand the various aspects of child custody to navigate the process effectively and to make informed decisions that are in the best interests of your children. To discuss your concerns in a free consultation, please call our law office in Cherry Hill at 856-324-4593 or complete our contact form. We advise and represent parents and grandparents in New Jersey and Pennsylvania.